Constitutional referendums and ethnonational conflict: The case of Northern Ireland

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Abstract

This piece reviews the utility of constitutional referendums in ethnonational conflicts. It concentrates on Northern Ireland, where calls for a constitutional referendum have been made in the wake of the 1998 Belfast Agreement. Although the Agreement has significant consensual and consociational elements, its provision for a constitutional referendum on Northern Ireland's sovereignty means that the Agreement cannot form the basis for a definitive settlement. Instead,constitutional politics have been re-energized. Using data from a survey of public attitudes, it finds that a binary choice constitutional referendum is unlikely to lead to a satisfactory outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages21
JournalNationalism and Ethnic Politics
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

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